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Rainham Hall (NT), in the centre of Rainham on The Broadway, was built in 1729 for the merchant and ship owner John Harle; its interior includes six delft-tiled fireplaces, with many of the tiles depicting nautical subjects. The majority of the tiles were Dutch-made (others were produced in London), and despite the Hall’s interior being generally unaltered, most of the fireplace tiles are not original but later replacements. The basement room appears to have been used as a dairy, and has four (re-ordered from five) panels of plain and decorative delft tiles.[1] Just north of the Hall is the Church of St Helen and St Giles, restored between 1892 and around 1902 by the Essex architect-priest Ernest Geldart, who was responsible for the striking patterned floor in red, black and yellow tiles.[2]


A couple of miles south-east of Rainham is Wennington and the Church of St Mary and St Peter, where Ernest Geldart added a new south aisle in 1883-6. This work was recorded on one of Geldart’s trademark glazed tiles, which formed part of the decorative scheme.[3]


1.^         Personal communication, Ian Betts, Museum of London Specialist Services, 12th August 2004.
2.^         James Bettley, ''The Master of Little Braxted in his prime': Ernest Geldart and Essex, 1873-1900', Essex Archaeology and History, 31 (2000), pp169-194.
3.^         Lynn Pearson, 'Memorial and Commemorative Tiles in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Churches', TACS Journal, 9 (2003), pp13-23.

The Tile Gazetteer is Copyright © 2005 Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society and Lynn Pearson, Richard Dennis.